RYANAIR customers are advised that refunds will not be paid until the coronavirus lockout is eased – some will have to wait up to 120 days to receive money.
Rather, customers who have had their flights canceled are offered vouchers or a free flight change.
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While those requesting refunds are advised that there is a delay of 90 to 120 days in receiving cash back.
Customers say the airline has told them that their refund processing staff have been put on leave and others have been told that customer service agents are working from home.
The airline, based in Dublin, Ireland, cut the wages of some of its colleagues by up to 50% while the pilots and cabin crew opted for the Irish version of the leave – the Irish Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS).
Ryanair says it is still processing refunds but that due to social distancing measures, they have a large backlog and customers may not be reimbursed until “this crisis is over”.
“I’m stuck in Tenerife and Ryanair just offered me a voucher”
EX-ACTOR Fiona Sinnot, from Dublin, is currently trapped in Tenerife after Ryanair canceled her flight.
Fiona, who is in her early fifties, is now working in marketing and was gone for some sunshine while her new home sale was over.
She is now waiting for other airlines to return home so that she can move into her new home in Hertfordshire.
Within three days of Ryanair canceling her outbound flight, Fiona contacted and completed a refund form. Ryanair responded by promising that the money would be processed on its account within seven days.
Over a month later, she was still waiting for the money when another email arrived from Ryanair, this time offering her the full amount owed in voucher.
She said, “I’m still having trouble getting money from Ryanair after a flight change a few years ago, so I knew right away that I should be asking for a refund when the cancellation happened.
“When I received the email on Monday with the coupon I couldn’t believe, they added a link to join the refund queue again, but it didn’t work. So far, I have waited nine hours in their online conversation and have not spoken once. Nobody’s answering. ”
“I no longer want to use Ryanair but since my local airport is Stansted, they have a monopoly. “
Customers have criticized the airline on social media, with some waiting more than five weeks before being reimbursed for coupons.
Ryanair customers awaiting reimbursement have received an email with supporting documents instead: “Please note that as our customer service agents are required to work from home to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, restrictions Payment security prevents us from processing refunds as quickly as we would like. “
Customers then receive a link to a COVID-19 help page where they can call, chat or DM on social media to be “queued” for refunds.
However, long wait times have been recorded for anyone trying to switch to closed telephone lines in some places due to the number of people requesting information.
Consumer law stipulates that airlines and travel package providers must reimburse customers if the company cancels their trip.
If your vacation is canceled by your tour operator, the money must be refunded within 14 days, or seven days if the airline has canceled your flights.
Today, which one? named Ryanair, British Airways and TUI as one of the travel agencies that broke these rules.
While MoneySavingExpert said it had denounced the airline to the Civil Aviation Authority and Trading Standards.
Martin James, Resolver’s consumer rights expert, says offering vouchers to customers asking for a refund only makes matters worse.
He said: “The airlines are under siege from people who demand reimbursement on their flights, but this has been compounded by unclear and misleading statements by some companies.
“Simply put, help keep the airline in business if you can by taking vouchers or advancing your flight – but don’t force yourself to do so – you’re entitled to a refund.”
A spokesperson for Ryanair said: “For any canceled flight, Ryanair offers customers all options defined by EU regulations, including free travel and cash or voucher refunds.
“The processing time for cash refunds takes longer because we have to process 10 times the usual volume and have fewer staff due to social distancing measures.
“Ryanair offers vouchers and free travel because they are automated and would offer customers an alternative.
“Customers who choose not to accept a free move or voucher will be reimbursed in due course once this unprecedented crisis is over.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and we thank our customers for accompanying us.”
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Yesterday The Sun reported that Ryanair was denied reimbursements until the end of the coronavirus crisis.
Meanwhile, TUI and Lastminute.com refuse to refund deposits and continue to take money for vacations that cannot arrive.
In addition, we explain how to get a refund for your vacation if it is canceled and how long it takes to get cash back.